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With its location in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg is surrounded by bountiful natural beauty.

VMRC is just minutes from the Shenandoah National Park and its protected wilderness, the rugged beauty of George Washington National Forest, and famously scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. And right in the city is James Madison University’s Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, a public urban garden and forested green space.

The beauty of the Shenandoah Valley doesn’t stop with what’s above ground, what’s under the ground is breathtaking as well. The Shenandoah Valley is home to numerous caverns including:

Hiking opportunities abound in the area. While there are many trails to try out in the area, group hiking is an option as well.  The Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter of the PATC (Potomac Appalachian Trail Club) offers both weekend and mid-week hiking to members.  

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“For us, volunteering gives us the opportunity to meet people from all areas of the VMRC campus and has broadened our perspective and understanding of the community we now call ‘home’.”

- Carter and Mary Ellen Lyons